We’re finally starting Coriolis, and as is my habit when I run things, imma write about it. It’s a useful process for hammering stuff into my thick skull and processing the experience.
Being fairly centered in the new-wave trad universe, the game required our first session be all about making our characters and talking about them. Several weeks ago, one of the players had skimmed the PDF and thought the explorer crew type sounded neat, and I’m in the mood to do some heavy GM lifting right now, so we went that way.
The game is super smart about funneling the players into one of several very fruitful and distinctive campaign types. We chose explorers but there’s also free traders, agents, mercenaries, and pilgrims, with subsets within those as well. Besides pointing the players toward suitable character classes (there are 10 or 11, of which just a few are nice, tight fits), the crew type also grants everyone a Crew Talent. Ours chose “truth seekers,” which kind of is like the Gumshoe thing where, if you need a clue to get through something, you just get it. Once per session, and the GM gets paid a Darkness Point, and I think that’s kind of nifty.
My three players chose, let’s see…a trailblazer (scout), a ship hand (engineer) and a scientist (archaeologist). Ships have five roles that can be filled for the ship combat bit, so we invented a husband/wife NPC team to join them, which is cool because then I get to kinda-sorta participate as well. 🙂
Something cool I got to do was roll out my “Coriolis in 10 minutes” pitch. It is a very elaborate setting and the on-ramp is just impossibly long, despite the rulebook’s best efforts. Really it’s again a very traddy setup: long sloggy on-ramp for the GM, who is then responsible for picking out the bits they find interesting. I tried to frame up the explanation from a local’s POV, kind of eliding the deep history stuff most non-academics might not really even know or care about it. I mean there’s like a thousand effing years of history from the very first launch of the Zenith and Nadir, with a bunch of wars and dark ages and other stuff between then and now. Really I think most folks are going to know and care about “the new era” of the setting, the arrival of the generation ships and the big cultural upheaval.
I have no sense of how Middle Eastern-y folks are feeling about thing so far. It’s hard to get past the Islamic there is no god but God tropes, which did not surprise or worry me. As Paul Czege mentioned, futuristic polytheism is hard to swallow.
The funnest bit of setup I thought was having folks talk about their personal space on their ship (an Orxy class medium freighter, decked out for hauling stuff fast and maybe not getting blown out of the black doing it). That gave us a chance to talk about their relationships, why they’re on the crew (my lone wolf player built another lone wolf and I always want to take time working out what’s keeping that kind of character around and engaged), their religious practice.
First session will be, I think, next week. But I’ll have just gotten back from NewMexicon so I might be fried, dunno. If I’m not, MadJay Brown and Ralph Mazza maybe will play the husband and wife NPCs!